I have updated the hosts files for the first time since last month. It is a bit later than I had wanted but a sorta-monthly cycle is what I want to maintain them at.
My next step is to completely automate their uploading to the server and maybe even have the page update itself so I don’t have to type anything at all.
Check it all out here: https://www.iruberleet.org/hosts-file/ and set your computers, routers and devices to automatically update from the links within.
I have begun updating a personally curated, collected, merged, de-duped hosts file here: https://www.iruberleet.org/hosts-file/
The regular version blocks ads, trackers, malware, spyware, gambling, fake news, fraud, cryptomining and a bunch of other bad things. It has around 40000 blocked hosts and is about 1mb in size.
The BIG version is about 22mb in size with over 700000 hosts blocked, it includes many more sources and also blocks pornography and social networking.
I personally use the regular version on all of my devices, computers and routers.
For more general information on hosts files, check out the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosts_(file)
Google has finally clarified that they will be restricting ad-blocking in extensions to paying customers of their enterprise services.
This is an unsurprising move from the advertising giant which has previously remotely-deleted ad blocking extensions and software from user’s software and devices. Recently Google has taken the extreme step of blocking all apps from third party devices which has resulted in a court injunction against them.
Google’s Duplex is a service which provides an AI voice assistant that calls businesses to make reservations and appointments. Lots of skepticism has been thrown onto it after it’s on-stage demo appeared to have been entirely faked.
Now however an explanation make exist which demonstrates why it is working so well, or perhaps more pointedly, why it isn’t working.
An independent study recently taken has shown that Duplex utilizes humans to speak in 75% of the calls. With it’s back up against a wall, Google has confirmed it does use humans in their calls but insists the rate is 35%.
The study highlights the ongoing debate about AI and whether it is deserving of the hype and investment money it is receiving. It appears that one of the largest tech companies on Earth has produced a call-center for you to outsource your restaurant bookings over the phone under the guise of being a technology-driven, “Artificially Intelligent” solution.
Such scams are common the scene as the technology rarely works as it is sold to clients but businesses need to maintain a veneer of success, competence and most importance: technological edge over their competitors.
It is already starting to sound like the plot to a Silicon Valley episode. I imagine in my head some crazy scheme where the guys have to prove their tech works and instead of actually producing a viable implementation they just heavily-compress all of their client’s data using conventional (and slow) algorithms while keeping uncompressed copies available side by side. They can then show just how quickly they were able to encode and decode everything in milliseconds. Just hoping to fool investors long enough to keep the runway going for them to figure out a real implementation, or to just pivot away once again.
Google has announced this month that they will be increasing the placement of advertisements on Android Home screens and YouTube’s recommended videos.
These new ads will be in the form of (static) image galleries which you can scroll through. These kinds of ads will likely be harder to block out, particularly in YouTube’s recommended video list.